Rocket Mass Heaters

A rocket mass heater is a clean burning, high performance burner usually put together using a majority of recycled and/or natural materials, such as cob. Owners claim an 80-90% reduction in wood usage compared to heating the same space with a metal wood stove.

As opposed to the masonry heater which requires some advanced masonry skills, the rocket mass heater can be built by any enthusiast with basic masonry and engineering abilities. The only problem with this project is difficulty in getting a building permit, because basically not many officials know what a rocket heater is. The exception is Portland, Oregon, which has a building code for rocket mass heaters, thanks to Ernie and Erica Wisner, who share some hints on how to acquire a permit on their site. Many communities do have building codes and give permits for masonry heaters, so you might need to treat your rocket heater as a masonry heater. Be cautioned, that without a permit, you may void your fire insurance policy.

The rocket mass heater works on similar properties as a masonry heater. A fast, high heat and oxygen-fed fire burn up the volatile gases and particulates, leaving very little pollution, and turn almost all the fuel into energy. A bit of smoke is released during the first minutes of a fire, until the temperature in the chamber is hot enough to burn the combustion gases as well as the wood. The major difference between a masonry heater and a rocket, is that the rocket stove has an insulated J- or L- shaped combustion chamber that forces the fire to burn horizontally. The fire then hits a 90 degree angle at the end of the chamber which causes a strong turbulence to rise up the insulated heat riser, creating a strong draft that feeds the intensity of the fire. The heat riser sits inside a barrel or larger secondary chamber which extends a couple of inches above the inner riser, the hot rising gases hit the top of the secondary chamber, give off some of their heat and then fall down the larger chamber's sides. The exhaust is then directed through flue piping, usually set within a bench, which will absorb the last vestiges of heat. Today's rocket heaters often employ cob, but there is no reason why you can't build a masonry bench of brick, stone or tile. The final flue gas that escapes the exit is basically water vapor. As hydrogen during combustion turns into water vapour.

Small pieces of wood, basically trimmings from one's yard, can be used to fuel the heater. The spaces between the small pieces of wood allows more draft into the combustion chamber, helping to fuel a fast, hot fire.



rocket mass heater

Rocket mass heater. Leaving the drum exposed allows immediate heat to enter the room. Covering the barrel with a natural surface of cob slows down the instant heat and holds heat for slower release. permaculturedesign.fr


rocket mass heater

Rocket Mass Heater in a straw bale home in France by Bec Touvière. Courses given once a year in France. Great video of the process at bottom of page here: permaculturedesign.fr



rocket mass heater

Rocket mass heater, built during a Bioconstruyendo held in February, 2010 in Patagonia, Argentina, in a straw bale and adobe cabin. www.firespeaking.com



rocket mass heater

Rocket Mass Heater by
Juured in Estonia.


rocket mass heater

Rocket Mass Heater by Ernie and Erica Wisner. Plans for sale here: ernieanderica.info/shop



rocket mass heater

The combustion chamber runs horizontally, the flames and gases hit a 90 degree angle and then throw off a lot of strong turbulence, which helps intensify the heat and create draft, or a rocket effect up the heat riser. The heat riser is usually a smaller pipe set within a larger pipe, the inner heat riser needs to be insulated as that creates a heat differential which again increases draft. This heat riser is then usually set within a 55 gallon barrel, with the top exposed to give off instant heat, but there is no reason it could not be set within masonry. (See resource below.) The barrel's lower half is often covered in cob, to store the stove's heat and allow the heat to radiate slowly.


rocket mass heater

Rocket heaters need a heat riser that is at least twice as tall as the burn tunnel is long. From: Rocket Mass Heaters by Ianto Evans, Leslie Jackson. www.amazon.com



rocket mass heater

Rocket mass heater and cooktop in Brussels. Great design! Brick veneer and must be a refractory cement counter top. See the inner workings here: flickriver.com


rocket mass heater

Rocket mass heater and cooktop in Brussels. Wood goes into feed to right of the sink. Cooktop is to right of the feed. See the inner workings here: flickriver.com


rocket heater

Rocket mass heater by Ernie and Erica.
ernieanderica.blogspot.com


rocket mass heater

Rocket mass heater in a Shamen center in France. From "Rocket stoves, wood fires and mass heaters" ecologie-pratique.org



rocket mass heater

Rocket Mass Heater by
Juured in Estonia.



rocket mass heater

Rocket mass heater in a cob cottage in Eugene, Oregon. canadiandirtbags.wordpress.com



rocket mass heater

Rocket mass heater mostly used for cooking as it is in the highlands of Guatemala. joachim2010.blogspot.com



rocket mass heater

Mass Heater by terre-et-flammes.fr



rocket mass heater

This is a masonry mass heater but looks like a nice start off point for a design of a rocket mass heater. poeles-eco-09.com



masonry wood cook stove

An antique stove was surrounded in cob. The wood loads on the right side, there is a heated bench behind. By Ernie and Erica Wisner, more photos: plus.google.com




rocket mass heater

Rocket mass heater with a cooktop. The heat riser does not have to be a barrel, but can be built from masonry. marquedeposee.over-blog.com



rocket mass heater

Rocket mass heater by expert Kirk “Donkey” Mobert, sundogbuilders.net, donkey32.proboards.com



rocket mass heater
systemed.fr


dragon heater

Dragon Heater's 6" powder coated metal rocket heater. Kit includes everything but the 55 gallon barrel and the perlite. It can be operated on its own or connected to thermal mass storage. Inside the red box is a 6" Dragon Burner. A square feed tube and 2" round air intake. The barrel has been painted with Stove Bright Hi-temp paint in black metallic. Available in 4 colors, textured black, copper vein, silver vein, and red. $1450. www.dragonheaters.com





More Videos:

How to build a cast core: youtube.com

Lots of videos on this page: richsoil.com

Institutional Rocket Stoves by Aprovecho: www.youtube.com


DIY:

Very active forum: permies.com

Forum: donkey32.proboards.com

Plans: ernieanderica.info/shop

Permit/Building Code Issues: ernieanderica.info/rocketmassheaterpermit

Picture Guide: outdoorhub.com

Design Tool for measurements for stove: rocketstove.org

RMH with bread oven, step by step photos: es-cargo.qc.ca

Nice heater here: www.mayacreek.org

Interesting design: intothewild.over-blog.org

Typical exhaust system: midwestpermaculture.com

Understanding the bell: stove.ru

More on the bell design: handprintpress.com


Kits:

Dragon Heaters: dragonheaters.com


In combination with the masonry heater:

Step by step photos of a masonry rocket mass heater: www.mha-net.org

Round masonry rocket mass heater: mha-net.org


Metal Heaters:

www.iwilltry.org

streetjesus.blogspot.com


Books:

Rocket Mass Heaters: Superefficient Woodstoves YOU Can Build
by Ianto Evans, Leslie Jackson. www.amazon.com


Stoves:

Clean rocket stoves for developing countries, yeah! www.aprovecho.org


 

 

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8belap7
Posts: 1
Comment
permies forum
Reply #20 on : Wed October 08, 2014, 13:24:29
Hi, Please check out the permies.com forum on rocket stoves...so much info there and so many who can definitely answer your questions!
Pete Schmidt
Posts: 19
Comment
Rocket stove to heat baseboard water heater
Reply #19 on : Wed September 17, 2014, 10:54:49
I have a hot water boiler that feeds baseboard units. I want to remove the unit and build a rocket stove from a hot water tank to heat the water instead. Can I connect the water lines (cold, hot, return) to the water tank?
Angy
Posts: 19
Comment
Rocket stove
Reply #18 on : Mon September 08, 2014, 07:11:47
Hallo,
I like so much this rockets and I want to make one by my self. I have some questions if it is possible to get answers:
1. Can I use the old vent to take the smoke out. It is about 6 m long. And I intend to make a 3 m long bench.
2. The hole for in take air it is so necessary? In Ianto Evans book I did not see mentioned. If yes it can be a regular small door? I can use the same kind of door for the ash cleaner place?
3.The third door it should be on the and of the bench? It can be the same with the other ones? Or should be something with very good close up?
Berry Wates
Posts: 19
Comment
Sanford Jojola
Reply #17 on : Sun August 17, 2014, 21:51:05
Great job!|Heya i'm for the first time here.</br>www.google.com
Joy Ismail
Posts: 19
Comment
Temeka Bhagat
Reply #16 on : Fri August 15, 2014, 18:52:46
Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it's rare to see a great blog like this one nowadays.</br>www.google.com
55 USD OFF DISCOUNT Pyle PLPW15D 15 Inch 2000 Watt Dual 4 Ohm Subwoofer.
Posts: 19
Comment
i genuinely like your world-wide-web internet site. Its really i
Reply #15 on : Mon July 21, 2014, 00:07:31
i genuinely like your world-wide-web internet site. Its really informative. Goodbye! Welcome to my site! I am very glad to shar xboter 2014
Theodore Sawer
Posts: 19
Comment
Treva Chinskey
Reply #14 on : Thu July 17, 2014, 12:08:18
This is my first discussion board entry at this point.! I am pleased to be obtaining associated in this article and since I am new to discussion board neighborhood, I really feel occasionally, that I've to understand a whole lot, believe you fellas have patient on me.Thank you see you guys
Andreas lunyalalo
Posts: 19
Comment
renewable energy
Reply #13 on : Thu March 27, 2014, 07:17:47
cute heater, i have to try one.
Carmen
Posts: 19
Comment
Re: Rocket Mass Heaters
Reply #12 on : Sat February 08, 2014, 15:17:44
I love rocket heaters. Right now I only have an iron parlor stove for my little cottage but one day I want one of these. I've never seen so much eye candy on one web page before. Beautiful heaters!
Keiren
Posts: 19
Comment
Lauren
Reply #11 on : Fri February 07, 2014, 08:30:32
Hi Lauren, Or you could cover most of the barrel in cob, like the second photo from the top. And then put some woobly piece of metal atop so the cat will quickly learn not to jump up. Or the mesh as you say....I will keep my eye out for any examples. Best!
Lauren
Posts: 19
Comment
saftey
Reply #10 on : Thu February 06, 2014, 21:47:51
I'm curious if there is any way to somehow add an out mesh like screen about 3-5 inches away from the exposed barrel that would help keep kids/pets from touching it and getting burned. with some sort of small latch door so you can still get to the barrel if need be. I have a cat and some day would like to add kids to the mix. ..I'm just not sure if the exposed areas will be safe enough.
Tsvar Tjoliski
Posts: 19
Comment
wood heat
Reply #9 on : Mon December 30, 2013, 16:11:54
My mother-in-law walks naked in the house now that I finished their mass heater. The central air just is not as warm feeling, it is dry feeling. Also it is cheaper to heat to a higher temp, and that is why that wrinkled old bag has gone nude like in the old country.
Construction Dorset
Posts: 19
Comment
Re: Rocket Mass Heaters
Reply #8 on : Tue December 10, 2013, 08:05:17
Good write-up, I am regular visitor of one’s web site, maintain up the excellent operate, and It’s going to be a regular visitor for a lengthy time.
Sam
Posts: 19
Comment
Space requirements
Reply #7 on : Sat November 02, 2013, 17:54:13
What's the the smallest size RMH that can be used and still be efficient, I'm trying to make as small of a square foot design or small foot print As possible. Can I make it tall and thin? In maybe 3x4 foot area?
ed
Posts: 19
Comment
Rocket Heaters
Reply #6 on : Wed September 25, 2013, 20:53:58
You can get a core already made at dragonheaters.com Makes the building process much easier
Rickey Bryan
Posts: 19
Comment
rocket mass heter boiler
Reply #5 on : Sun September 15, 2013, 15:21:47
very encouraging and informative .planing on using some of the ideas in my 30'x90' poly tunnel will send u pictures if u guys would love that one love
Neil Clark
Posts: 19
Comment
Rocket heater plans
Reply #4 on : Sat June 22, 2013, 13:21:53
Great site, looks like Ill be back to get some great ideas
Thanks
Neil
Neil Clark
Posts: 19
Comment
Rocket heater plans
Reply #3 on : Sat June 22, 2013, 13:07:51
Hi Guys, hello from South Africa, I looking for some help in building a rocket heater here but cant afford the book :( Need to know a couple of details etc. Anybody out there?
Thanks
Neil
Ed
Posts: 19
Comment
Rocket Heaters
Reply #2 on : Wed May 22, 2013, 12:36:29
These designs are great! Check out www.dragonheaters.com for rocket heater cores.
Sarah
Posts: 19
Comment
Re: Rocket Mass Heaters
Reply #1 on : Tue February 19, 2013, 08:26:57
These look so stylish! And surely they're pretty efficient as well, as gas prices are going up, this is certainly a good alternative!
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